SYDNEY, Australia – Many Greeks have migrated to Australia over the course of time, worked hard to raise their children, doing several jobs and running their own businesses and have especially succeeded in cafes. Two professors at Macquarie University, Effy Alexakis & Leonard Janiszewski, found that the Greeks of Australia have influenced cafes situated in Australia a lot and have “Americanized” them.
Their latest research focuses mostly on Newcastle-based Greek cafes. Newcastle is Australia’s sixth largest city, located 100 miles north of Sydney. The first Greeks moved to Newcastle in the late 1830′s but their presence became stronger in the mid 1880′s.
Most owners of Newcastle’s Greek cafes come from the Ionian island of Ithaca while others from Arcadia. Janiszewski and Alexakis have concluded, after years of ongoing research, that Greek immigrants have changed Australians’ dietary habits significantly.
Despite nationals believing that they were of Italian origin, the Greeks of Newcastle managed to establish new trends in their local cafes. It is believed that Greeks might have been the first cafe owners who introduced milkshakesand grilled meals in their cafes, fascinating Australians all over the country and making their cafes famous.
Census data showed that there were 8,000 to 12,000 Australians of Greek descent in Newcastle. Two Greek-Australians coming from Newcastle entered the Federal Parliament- Peter Morris from 1972 until 1998 and his brother Allan Morris from 1983 through 2001, both elected as members of the Labor Party.
The Greek Orthodox Community of Newcastle as well as the Greek community of Newcastle, currently included in the Greek community of New South Wales, which organize numerous successful Greek events all year round showed that the Greeks of Newcastle are still having a major impact on the city’s history and culture.
The two professors conducted a long and detailed research on Greek cafes of Newcastle. Having collected enough photographic material to showcase, they are hoping to inaugurate a touring exhibition, entitled Selling an American Dream: Australia’s Greek Cafe, in the next year, should they find an appropriate venue. Information is available at email@example.com or by calling him at 02-98506886.